Mumbai, March 8, 2022: In observance of International Women’s Day 2022, the Consulates General of Sweden, Canada, France, Germany, and Spain – countries with feminist foreign policies – collaborated to highlight how a feminist foreign policy can contribute to a nation’s development.
In association with UN Women and NGO-partner Red Dot Foundation, the diplomatic missions organized a first-of-its-kind group initiative – an interactive roundtable discussion on “Advancing Feminist Leadership for a Sustainable Future.”
A specially selected, diverse group of fifty individuals from various walks of life—private sector, local government, NGOs, artists, and influencers—shared their experiences of advancing gender equality, challenging bias, and recommending concrete suggestions for securing a sustainable future.
The event aimed at advancing gender equality through personal experiences, individual commitments, and partnerships.
The Consulates General, on the occasion, released a joint statement:
“Feminist foreign policy is an agenda for change. Ensuring that everyone enjoys fundamental human rights is a prerequisite to achieving the broader foreign policy goals of peace, security, and sustainable development.
The Consulates General aim to create collaborations between local government authorities, civil society organizations, the private sector, and other like-minded diplomatic missions on the shared goal of achieving gender equality as a key factor in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This will be a year-long collaborative effort with a series of initiatives to increase knowledge exchange and promote best practices for gender equality across sectors.”
“Sweden is advancing global gender equality by pioneering a feminist foreign policy. Achieving gender equality is an objective in itself – but it also benefits everyone as it promotes better health, stronger economic growth and peaceful societies. Here in Mumbai, the Swedish Consulate is glad to partner with the Consulates of Canada, France, Germany and Spain to cooperate on our common feminist foreign policy in collaboration with local organisations and actors.” – Anna Lekvall, Consul General of Sweden in Mumbai
Also read: Sweden’s Handbook to Feminist Foreign Policy
“Canada is committed to working with like-minded partners to support gender equality around the world. Our objective is to ensure that the goals and targets on gender equality are achieved back home as well as for women and girls everywhere. In support of this objective within my own consulate, I am proud to share that we have initiated a gender pledge which will support inclusivity on a daily basis. Myself and all my staff are working to implement best practises to create a more inclusive environment for our team. Let us all strive together to work towards an inclusive working environment today, tomorrow & everyday. #BreakTheBias” – Diedrah Kelly, Consul General of Canada in Mumbai
“France stands for furthering feminist foreign diplomacy worldwide means fighting for equality between men and women everywhere at all times.” – Jean-Marc Séré-Charlet, Consul General of France in Mumbai.
“Giving women’s perspectives more weight in all fields of policymaking, including foreign policy decisions, is a win-win for a just and equitable society. Diverse teams are known to perform better. A wider representation at the table secures a larger pool of experience and foresight urgently needed to tackle the immense challenges we face. Why not use 100% of our talent to build our future? We are happy to explore, together, how to make gender equality an everyday practice and realize policies that are broad, inclusive, progressive, and yet realistic.” – Marja Einig, Deputy Consul General of Germany in Mumbai
“For Spain, our Feminist Foreign Policy means placing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at the centre of our foreign policy. We believe that it contributes to a better, more just world, where women and men are equal in rights and opportunities. Nothing more. Nothing less.” – Fernando Heredia Noguer, Consul General of Spain in Mumbai
UN Women India
“So every step that every individual takes knowingly or unknowingly leads to either degradation or improvement in SDGs.” – Kanta Singh, Deputy Country Representative, UN Women India
Red Dot Foundation
“Gender equality starts with challenging our personal biases and inhibitions as women and society. The day the social stereotypes are broken we will be on a fair playing ground but the first step will have to be ours. However absurd, voice your views and be fearlessly ambitious.” – Supreet K Singh, Director & CEO, Red Dot Foundation
Photo Caption: (Photo attached)
L – R: Fernando Heredia-Consul General of Spain in Mumbai; Erik Malmber -Consul of Sweden in Mumbai; Kanta Singh Deputy Country Representative, UN Women India; Dr. Manisha Patankar Mhaiskar, Principal Secretary – Environment & Climate Change Dept & Chief Protocol Officer, General Admin Dept., Maharashtra Govt.; Diedrah Kelly- Consul General of Canada in Mumbai; Marja Sirkka-Einig, Acting Consul General of Germany in Mumbai; Jean-Marc Séré-Charlet, Consul General of France in Mumbai France